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Inspirational Memoir Review    


home is always the place you just left:
a memoir of restless longing and persistent grace
by Betty Smartt Carter
Paraclete Press, 2003
Trade paper, $15.95 (213 pages)
ISBN: 1-55725-323-4



Looking for "home" is something everyone experiences.  Thomas Wolfe found discontent in his journey with You Can't Go Home Again.  Dorothy traveled through OZ looking for "home" and discovered the power was always within herself.  Young Betty Smartt clings to people and panics over each move she has to make.  For Betty, "home is always the place you just left." 

As the daughter of an evangelical Presbyterian minister, Betty is surrounded by Christian ritual and heritage and finds herself mimicking the faith before she has found God for herself.  Her lack of attention within the family causes Betty to seek praise from others, which leads to obsessive behavior and causing pain to all. 

Her relationships with men are wary because her upbringing has conditioned her to believe desire is dangerous.  Yet, two men -- a college professor and her future husband -- who show Betty how to develop her spiritual home.  The professor tells her that her relationship with her earthly father will explain how she sees God.  Jon, her husband, told Betty for her "home is always the place you just left," while for him, home was where she was. 

Betty Smartt Carter shares her spiritual journey with humor, pain, and great insight.

In addition to her memoir, Betty Smartt Clark has written two novels and is a regular contributor to Books & Culture magazine.

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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